Johanna Drucker

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Johanna Drucker (30 May 1952, Philadelphia) is an author, book artist, visual theorist, and cultural critic. She is the Inaugural Martin and Bernard Breslauer Professor of Bibliographical Studies in the Department of Information Studies. She has published and lectured on topics in book history, visual epistemology, graphic design history, artists' books, digital humanities, and contemporary art and literature.

Johanna Drucker has held faculty positions at the University of Texas at Dallas (1986-1988), Columbia University (1989-1994), Yale University (1994-1999), and the University of Virginia (1999-2008), as well as fellowships and visiting positions at Harvard University (Mellon Faculty Fellow, 1988-1989), SUNY Purchase (1998-1999), and Stanford (Humanities Center, 2008-2009).

Recent titles include the jointly authored Digital_Humanities (MIT, 2012) with Anne Burdick, Peter Lunenfeld, Todd Presner, and Jeffrey Schnapp; Graphic Design History: A Critical Guide (Pearson Prentice Hall) with Emily McVarish, and SpecLab: Projects in Digital Aesthetics and Speculative Computing (Chicago, 2009). A collection of her essays, What Is? was published by Cuneiform Press in 2013 and Graphesis: Visual Forms of Knowledge Production appeared in 2014 as one of the three first volumes in the new series that Harvard University Press launched in their new MetaLab series on the impact of digital humanities and design.

In addition to her academic work, Drucker has produced artist’s books and projects that were the subject of a retrospective, Druckworks: 40 years of books and projects, that began at Columbia College in Chicago and travelled in venues in the US for two years. Her artist’s books are represented in museum and library collections throughout the United States and Europe. In 2014 she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. (2018)


Scholarly publications[edit]

  • Figuring the Word: Essays on Books, Writing, and Visual Poetics, New York: Granary Books, 1998, IA. Excerpt.
  • with Emily McVarish, Graphic Design History: A Critical Guide, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2008, xxix+386 pp, IA; 2nd ed., rev., Boston: Pearson, 2012, xxix+386 pp. Publisher.
    • Ping mian she ji shi: Yi bu pi pan xing de yao lan [平面设计史: 一部批判性的要览], Nanning: Guangxi Fine Arts Publishing, 2017, 386 pp. (Chinese)
    • Una historia del diseño gráfico. De la prehistoria hasta el siglo XXI, Buenos Aires: Ampersand, 2020, 450 pp. Publisher. (Spanish)
  • with Anne Burdick, Todd Presner, Peter Lunenfeld, and Jeffrey Schnapp, Digital_Humanities, MIT Press, 2012, x+141 pp.
    • Umanistica_digitale, trans. Matteo Bittanti, Milan: Mondadori, 2014, 250 pp. (Italian)
    • Shu zi ren wen: Gai bian zhi shi chuang xin yu fen xiang de you xi gui ze [数字人文: 改变知识创新与分享的游戏规则], Beijing: Zhong guo ren min da xue chu ban she, 2018, 192 pp. (Chinese)
    • Digital_humanities, trans. David Vichnar, Prague: Academia, 2019, 192 pp. Publisher. (Czech)
  • Druckworks 1972-2012: 40 Years of Books and Projects, Chicago: Epicenter Press/Columbia College, 2012, 140 pp. Exhibition catalogue for retrospective. [1]
  • What Is? (A Letter, Writing, A document, Graphic about Graphic Textuality, etc.), Cuneiform Press, January 2013.
  • The General Theory of Social Relativity, Vancouver: The Elephants, Apr 2018, viii+93 pp. Publisher. Review: Portela (EBR).
  • Inventing the Alphabet: The Origins of Letters from Antiquity to the Present, University of Chicago Press, 2022, 384 pp.
  • Art Journal: "Digital Reflections: The Dialogue of Art and Technology", Fall 1997.

Artist's books[edit]